City hold Phoenix to 0-0 draw

Wellington Phoenix has passed up the chance to go top of the A-League table after drawing a blank with Melbourne City.

The 0-0 draw wasn’t without chances, including a first-half penalty, which Nathan Burns hit straight at City keeper Tando Velaphi.

But after 90 minutes and 29 shots shared between the two finals-bound teams, neither could find a route to goal.

Phoenix gloveman Glen Moss particularly impressed, playing out the match with a limp after a collision with Connor Chapman.

He was almost beaten in the fifth minute of injury time, when Aaron Mooy’s cross found Erik Paartalu in the box.

But the tall midfielder looped his header onto the bar, ensuring a result that came close to fairness.

In a relentless opening that set the tone for the match, City had a string of chances that all could have found the net.

Jonatan Germano’s rob and attempted lob, Robi Koren’s shot and Safuwan Baharudin’s header was a taste of what was to come.

After dealing with the early storm, Phoenix failed to land a counter-punch from the penalty spot.

On 15 minutes Safuwan Baharudin clumsily took down Louis Fenton, but Burns fluffed the spot kick, tamely side-footing at Velaphi.

The Socceroo forward was heartily jeered by the 6,720 crowd before the match continued.

While Wellington attacked primarily by dribbling at their opponents, John van ‘t Schip’s side made good use of their height and width, attacking with aerial passes and crosses.

With halftime looming, Roy Krishna had the ball in the net from Burns’ cross but both were correctly adjudged offside.

But all through the evening, the away side’s shots for goal were too tame.

In contrast, Mooy’s curving and dipping crosses were causing Wellington concern all evening.

Early second-half efforts by Paartalu and Josh Kennedy were denied by well by the All Whites goalkeeper, who pulled a save from the top-drawer to deny Germano on the 80th minute.

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